Fraternity (band)

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Fraternity
Fraternity.jpg
Fraternity: (L–R) Bruce Howe, Mick Jurd, John Freeman, John Bisset, Bon Scott
Background information
Also known as Fang, Some Dream, Mickey Finn
Origin Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Genres Progressive rock, psychedelic rock, boogie rock, blues rock
Years active 1970 (1970)–1973, 1973 (1973)–1974, 1974 (1974)–1975, 1975 (1975)–1981
Labels Sweet Peach, Raven, RCA
Associated acts The Valentines, AC/DC, Cold Chisel
Past members Bruce Howe
Mick Jurd
John Bisset
Tony Buettel
Bon Scott
John Freeman
John Ayers
Sam See
Mauri Berg
Peter Bersee
John Swan
Jimmy Barnes
Stan Koritni

Fraternity were an Australian rock band which formed in Sydney in 1970 and relocated to Adelaide in 1971. Former members include successive lead vocalists Bon Scott (who later joined AC/DC), John Swan (who also played drums and later had a solo career), and his brother Jimmy Barnes (Cold Chisel). Their biggest local hit was a cover version of "Seasons of Change" which peaked at No. 1 in Adelaide, but nationally it was overrun by the original Blackfeather version. The group won the 1971 Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds with the prize being a free trip to London. Fraternity went through various line-ups and was renamed as Fang, Fraternity (again), Some Dream and finished as Mickey Finn in 1981.

History[edit]

Fraternity were formed in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia in early 1970 by four ex-members of the recently split Levi Smith's Clefs, John Bisset on keyboards, Tony Buettel on drums, Bruce Howe on bass guitar and vocals, and Mick Jurd on lead guitar.[1][2] The band recorded their debut single, "Why Did It Have to Be Me?" which was issued on the Sweet Peach label in October.[1] Howe was looking for a lead vocalist and called on Bon Scott, whose group The Valentines had just disbanded.[3] They signed with Nova Agencies who also managed Sydney rockers, Blackfeather and their guitarist John Robinson would often jam with Fraternity.[3] Early gigs were at Jonathon's Disco on Broadway in Sydney.[3]

Scott was invited to play recorder on the Blackfeather track "Seasons of Change" for that band's debut album, At the Mountains of Madness.[3] John Freeman (Levi Smith's Clefs) replaced Buettel on drums and Fraternity recorded their debut album, Livestock, which was produced by Doug Ashdown and Jim Stewart.[1] By the album's release in early 1971, Fraternity relocated to Adelaide and lived on a farm.[4] They signed with a new manager, Hamish Henry, and issued a new single, "Livestock" in January. They followed with their cover of "Seasons of Change" in March.[3] The song sold well and became a No. 1 hit in Adelaide – it reached No. 51 on the Go-Set National Top 60.[3] Upon learning of Fraternity's success in Adelaide, Blackfeather quickly released their version, which overran Fraternity's and reached No. 15.[1][5]

John Ayers (ex-No Sweat) joined on harmonica and vocals in May.[1] Fraternity won the Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds – a national performance competition between the best bands representing each state – with the prize being a free trip to London.[1] Scott's previous band, The Valentines, had been a finalist two years earlier.[6] By September, Fraternity were touted as "The Next Big Band" by teen magazine, Go-Set.[7] Sam See (Sherbet, The Flying Circus) joined on piano and slide guitar that month.[1] They recorded their second album, Flaming Galah, produced by Grape Productions, which appeared in April 1972.[2][3] By that time, the band had taken their trip to London and attempted to crack the United Kingdom market.[1] Bissett left to return to Australia and was followed out of the band by See who rejoined The Flying Circus (now based in Canada).

Fraternity were renamed as Fang in early 1973, but the band had stalled and was gradually disintegrating, with the remaining members returning to Australia by the year's end.[1] Some members joined the loosely knit Mount Lofty Rangers project with fellow Adelaide-based Headband members. Scott recorded a couple of songs with Mount Lofty Rangers before being seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in early 1974.[1] When Scott had recovered, he joined heavy rockers AC/DC in Sydney.

Late in 1974, Fraternity reformed with Ayers, Freeman, and Howe joined by Mauri Berg (Headband) on guitar, Peter Bersee on violin and John Swan (Hard Time Killing Floor) on lead vocals.[2] In mid-1975, Freeman left and Swan switched to drums with his younger brother, Jimmy Barnes (Cold Chisel) joining on lead vocals.[1][2] By late 1975 Fraternity was renamed Some Dream, Barnes returned to Cold Chisel. Swan resumed lead vocals but left in 1976 and, under the name Swanee, had a solo career.[1]

In 1978, Some Dream was renamed Mickey Finn, which comprised Ayers, Berg and Howe. By 1980, Freeman had rejoined and a second guitarist, Stan Koritni, was added. Mickey Finn cut a self-titled album for the Eureka label and released two singles in 1980 and 1981 before finally disbanding.

Members[edit]

  • Bruce Howe – bass guitar, lead vocals, backing vocals (1970–1973, 1974–1981)
  • Mick Jurd – guitar (1970–1973)
  • John Bisset – keyboards, backing vocals (1970–1972)
  • Tony Buettel – drums (1970)
  • Bon Scott – lead vocals, recorder (1970–1973)
  • John Freeman – drums (1970–1973, 1974–1975, 1980–1981)
  • "Uncle" John Ayers – harmonica, backing vocals (1971–1973, 1974–1981)
  • Sam See – slide guitar, piano (1971–1972)
  • Mauri Berg – guitar (1974–1981)
  • John Swan – drums, vocals (1974–1976)
  • Peter Bersee – violin (1974–1976)
  • Jimmy Barnes – vocals (1975)
  • Stan Koritni – guitar (1980–1981)

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • "Why Did It Have to Be Me?" / "Question" (Moody Blues cover) – (1970)
  • "Livestock" /" Why Did It Have to Be Me?" / "Cool Spot" – (1971)
  • "Seasons of Change" / "Summerville" – (1971) AUS No.51[3]
  • "The Race Pt. 1" / "The Race Pt. 2" – (1971)
  • "Welfare Boogie" / "Getting Off" – (1972)

Extended plays[edit]

  • "If You Got It" / "Raglan's Folly" / "You Have a God" – (September 1971)

Studio albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]

  • The Complete Sessions 1971-72 – (March 1997) 2×CD

Other[edit]

  • Bon Scott: The Early Years 1967-1972 – (1988) ~ features The Spektors, The Valentines and Fraternity.
  • Golden Miles - Australian Progressive Rock 1969-1974 (1997) ~ features Fraternity's "Seasons of Change."

See also[edit]

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Fraternity'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 28 August 2004. Retrieved 28 December 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d Holmgren, Magnus. "Fraternity". Australian Rock Database. Magnus Holmgren. Retrieved 29 December 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Kimball, Duncan (2002). "Groups & Solo Artists – Fraternity". Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. Ice Productions. Retrieved 28 December 2010. 
  4. ^ Kent, David Martin (September 2002). The place of Go-Set in rock and pop music culture in Australia, 1966 to 1974 (Portable Document Format (PDF)). Canberra, ACT: University of Canberra. pp. 74, 243. Retrieved 19 December 2010.  Note: This PDF is 282 pages.
  5. ^ Nimmervoll, Ed. "Go-Set Australian charts – Top Records for the Year of 1971". Go-Set. Waverley Press. Retrieved 28 December 2010.  Note: Go-Set published its national charts from October 1966 until August 1974.
  6. ^ Kimball, Duncan (2002). "Performances – Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds". Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. Ice Productions. Retrieved 29 December 2010. 
  7. ^ "Fraternity – The Next Big Band". Go-Set (Waverley Press). 18 September 1971. p. 1. Retrieved 29 December 2010. 

External links[edit]